As the world becomes more interconnected it is important to evaluate our role as a cog in the wheel, because our choices affect people all over the world. At best we strive to make that impact a beneficial one, and at the core of every decision we make is the commitment that we need to do the least harm possible. This core ethic impacts every ingredient we source, every package we offer, and the daily operations of our business. I know, cotton candy seems frivolous, why bother? Because sustainability matters to our community and it matters to our environment.
What are we using to be sustainable?
- Our cotton candy sticks are made of bamboo instead of paper. Bamboo is a sustainable, quickly renewable resource. On the other hand, producing a single paper cotton candy cone uses 3 gallons of water! The only water needed to make a bamboo cotton candy stick is the rainwater used to grow it. So say we use 10,000 cotton candy sticks in a year, then we are saving 30,000 gallons of industrial, contaminated water from the environment.
- We make all of our local deliveries in an electric car. Did you know that one gallon of gas makes 19 pounds of carbon dioxide? By switching to a zero emissions electric car, we keep more than 2,280 pounds of CO2 out of the atmosphere every year. Also, we aren’t adding to our local air pollution problems, where on hot desert days ozone becomes a big problem. Ozone forms when sunlight reacts with car pollution and is a key factor in respiratory discomfort.
- Our cotton candy comes in recyclable plastic tubs. They’re reusable and recyclable #5 plastic, which people consider among the safest plastics. This reduces non-biodegradable waste filling up our landfills. When you recycle these tubs you’re reducing the need to pump more crude oil to make new plastic, so please do recycle them! We also strongly considered using compostable plastics made from corn, but they’re not currently the best option for 2 reasons: 1, you need a commercial, high heat composting facility to break them down, which most people don’t have access to; and 2, if compostable plastic gets mixed in with regular recycling it contaminates the batch.
What else are we doing to be sustainable?
- We use low energy LEDs in our Fluff Factory. These save energy, last longer and are made of cleaner materials than fluorescent bulbs, which make inevitable disposal better.
- We are fortunate to live in Tucson, where we have over 110 megawatts of solar energy on the grid. TEP, our power supplier, is by no means perfect or a beacon of sustainability, but they do have the goal to be 30% renewable by 2030. However, we plan to be 100% solar by 2025.
- Since we make our cotton candy with real fruits, herbs, and flowers, we create a lot of plant waste. Instead of throwing this in the garbage to be taken to the landfill, we compost it and use it on our garden. It’s a win-win – delicious organic cotton candy that grows a healthy garden.
We are living in an extremely exciting era. We have unprecedented freedoms – freedom to travel, freedom to communicate, the freedom to be who we want to be and do what we want to do. It’s truly incredible and the possibilities are endlessly inspiring, but our modern ways come with a price. The environmental destruction we have caused to get here is the biggest threat to the progress we’ve made. That’s why sustainability is so important to us. At SpunLight, we plan to build a beautiful, clean future.